Summit County authors publish wildflower books | SummitDaily.com

Summit County authors publish wildflower books

A field of wildflowers in bloom can turn a good hike into a fantastic one, and it's finally slipping into the time of year to see the colorful plants in bloom in the High Country.

Local authors recently released two books featuring brilliant wildflower photography just in time for summer. John Fielder shares 20 years worth of wildflower photographs in his newest of many published books, "Wildflowers of Colorado." And Linda and Bernie Nagy have released an updated version of "Rocky Mountain Wildflowers Field Guide," featuring more than 270 varieties of wildflowers.

On Friday, June 10, Next Page Books & Nosh will be hosting both authors for a book signing from 5–8 p.m. Copies of their books will be available for purchase.

JOHN FIELDER

Fielder has been taking photographs in Colorado for more than 40 years and has published over 50 books of his work.

"Flowers are obviously popular, it's one of my favorite things to photograph, and I pretty much know where the best flower fields are around the state; so not only did I put my 100 favorite flower photos from last 20 years in the book, but I wrote a little text about where to go to find good flowers in northern, central and southern Colorado," he said.

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The book includes wildflowers from around Colorado, including local spots like Lower Cataract Lake and the Lower Blue Valley.

"Lower Cataract Lake, which has the thickest fields of Colorado columbine, the state flower, that I've ever seen anywhere," he said. "About early July they start popping. … It's the best I've ever seen anywhere."

For great wildflower shots, he said it's not always necessary to hike into the wild. Even just heading off the main highway and taking side roads can lead to gratifying results, such as Ute Pass Road or Rock Creek Road north of Silverthorne. Taking side roads off Highway 9 north toward Heeney can be lucrative spots for floral finds.

"Make every left and right hand turn they can make without trespassing, all the way to Heeney," he said. "They'll find things that most people wouldn't find if they just do that."

Flowers bloom progressively as you go higher in elevation, but this year, because of the late season snow, it probably won't be until the first couple weeks in July before flowers start to bloom in alpine zones above 11,500 feet, he said. But right now, for June, just driving in the mountains between 8,000-10,000 feet of elevation is ideal.

Lately, Fielder has been photographing leafing aspen trees near Steamboat Springs. It was there he discovered one of the thickest fields of purple lupine he has ever seen in his life. Come to the book signing, he says, and he might even tell you where.

LINDA AND BERNIE NAGY

A pocket guide to identifying wildflowers, the Nagy's "Rocky Mountain Wildflowers Field Guide" saw so much success in its first edition, the pair decided to publish an e-book and then print an updated version that included around 50 more types of flowers. They also changed up the physical properties of the book, giving it rounded corners to fit more easily into pockets.

The Nagys are retired from a direct-marketing business and are now professional photographers and artists in Fairplay. The Nagys have lived in Summit County since 1985, more recently moving over the pass to Park County in 2013. They've published four books — including two photography coffee table books — showing the beauty of South Park, a Park County History book and the wildflower guide.

"There is so much history over in South Park, and no one had shown a book with the beautiful scenery … so I started a coffee table book in 2010, which was quite a success," Bernie said.

The second book published on the four seasons of South Park had about 100 photos of wildflowers from the area, which inspired them to work on a guide with only wildflowers, Bernie said.

A lot of the wildflowers in their book are from around the High Country, including areas like Boreas Pass. The biggest challenge of creating the book, the couple said, was identifying each flower. Linda spent years studying wildflowers and taking many Colorado Native Plant Master courses to achieve a Colorado Flora certificate in December 2015.

"A lot of it was just taking the pictures and then going back home and delving into a lot of different guides and things researching," she said.

Besides book publishing, Bernie is a media correspondent, travel writer and lifelong press and nature photographer.

Linda, an artist and graphic designer, is a member of the Women of Watercolor in Summit County. She also writes articles for local newspapers, publications and the popular Colorado Life Magazine.

"We are nature-oriented," Bernie said. "We are in our early 70s, but we like nature, we fell in love. Whenever we go out to hike, we always look for new wildflowers."

OTHER NEXT PAGE EVENTS

On Saturday, June 11, Young Adult author Lindsay Eland will be at the bookstore from 3–5 p.m. to discuss and sign copies of her book, "Five Times Revenge." She lives in Breckenridge with her husband, their four children and four dogs. The novel is about five unlikely friends, two bullies and one epic prank.

While one of the main topics of this book is bullying, she also focuses on the unlikely friendships that can form when we decide to look deeper at others and at ourselves.

"The truth is, we are all so much more than our eye color, the sport we play, our favorite band, our least favorite food," she said in a statement. "We 'know' this, but we rarely live this or pay attention to this. We are people with stories. Lives full of joy and heartbreak, of falling down and of getting back up. If we would take the time to pay attention and see — really see — others and ourselves for who we truly are our world — both big and small — would be a much different place."

if you go

What: Book signing with authors John Fielder and Linda and Bernie Nagy

When: Friday, June 10, 5–8 p.m.

Where: Next Page Books & Nosh; 409 Main St., Frisco

Cost: Free. Books available for purchase

More information: (970) 668-9291 or nextpagebooks.com

IF YOU GO

What: Book signing with author Lindsay Eland

When: Saturday, June 11; 3–5 p.m.

Where: Next Page Books & Nosh; 409 Main St., Frisco

Cost: Free. Books available for purchase

More information: (970) 668-9291 or nextpagebooks.com